SA LGBTIQ+ Rights Watch: September 2022

OUT LGBT Well-being and MambaOnline publish a monthly overview of violations of the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in South Africa. We also look at the status of cases making their way through the criminal justice system. Here is our summary for September 2022.

  • A night out to see a movie turned into an abusive homophobic experience for two queer individuals at the Ster Kinekor cinema in Cresta Mall in Johannesburg on Friday 23 September. LGBTIQ+ and climate activist Angelo Louw and a friend were harassed during a film screening by a group of young men. They kicked their seats, laughed at them, and made homophobic comments. As Louw and his friend were exiting the cinema, one of the young men hurled a box of popcorn at them and yelled “suck my dick”. Louw’s efforts to identify the men that night via security footage were hampered by the requirement to first lay a complaint at a police station and then return with police officers.
  • Parents at Cape Town’s exclusive Bishops Diocesan College were at loggerheads after some criticised the school for its efforts to be more inclusive of LGBTIQ+ learners. A letter from “concerned” parents” of the Anglican boys’ college, who criticised the school’s leadership for raising the rainbow flag, made headlines after it was circulated on social media. They wrote: “Regardless of their sense of tolerance and acceptance of gay individuals, it is felt by many that the majority of learners do not want themselves or their school as a whole to be viewed as part of, or associated with, the Pride movement.” Thankfully, another group of parents countered their homophobia with another letter expressing support for the school’s progressive policies.
  • In response to the recent deaths of three LGBTIQ+ school learners who were allegedly bullied because of their sexuality, the Legal Resources Centre called on the Department of Basic Education to better protect LGBTIQ+ school learners. The Johannesburg-based organisation said “we risk seeing a repeat of these incidents if progressive policies and staff sensitisation are not implemented urgently and concurrently”. It urged the department to devise a national gender identity and sexual orientation policy document that will be binding on all public schools in South Africa “to ensure that educational environments are not fertile ground for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”.
  • Despite the pending Equality Court case against him, South African right-wing singer and self-styled social and political commentator Steve Hofmeyr continued to attack the LGBTIQ+ community on social media in September. Hofmeyr defended his nonsensical claim that Disney’s commitment to include more LGBTIQ+ representation in its content is intended to sexualise young children. He further claimed that the LGBTIQ+ community wants “access to women’s vulnerability and other people’s children”. Meanwhile, OUT LGBT Well-being has asked the community to donate towards some of the legal costs in its pending Equality Court case against Hofmeyr . You can find out how you can help here.
  • The man arrested in connection with the murder of Eastern Cape transgender woman Athule Mahlathini has appeared in court. Mahlathini, 24, was killed in the early hours of 7 August in the township of Motherwell, Gqeberha when her boyfriend’s cousin allegedly beat her unconscious, poured paraffin over her and set her and the shack she was in alight. It’s alleged that he killed Mahlathini because he objected to his family member being in a relationship with a transgender woman. Mahlathini’s family have voiced suspicions to OUT that her boyfriend was also involved in the attack and have questioned why police have not arrested him. The suspect will next appear in the Motherwell Magistrates Court on 25 November to allow for further investigations.
  • OUT has been assisting a 30-year-old man who has been blackmailed by another man he met through the Grindr dating app. The two reportedly had sex at the victim’s home after which the alleged extortionist started to demand money from him, threatening to out him. The victim has twice paid the man who has continued to harass him at his home and demand more money. OUT’s legal clinic has advised the client to open a case of extortion and to apply for a protection order at the local magistrates court. We again call for members of the community to take all possible precautions when arranging anonymous hook-ups.

If you require any free legal advice from OUT’s LGBTIQ+ Legal Clinic please contact


If you’ve experienced or witnessed an LGBTIQ+ hate crime, hate speech or any other kind of LGBTIQ+ rights discrimination in South Africa, you can now report it anonymously on your phone at no cost.

  • Simply dial *134*382*5# and follow the instructions. If you wish, you can request to be called back for support.

 NB: South African phone companies have a pre-set time limit. After 120 seconds you will lose connection. However, if you redial *134*382*5# you can start where you left off.